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Antigone Sophocles

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Antigone

by Sophocles

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Episode 5

(Enter Tiresias, guided by a child.)

[Compare with Matthew 18:3]

Tiresias

Nation, Nobility, I am here, guided by a child. Old and blind, I rely on the eyes of a child to show me the path. Those who wish to commune with the Divine must let go of jaded ways and become like a child with open mind and untainted heart.

Creon

Venerable Tiresias, what tidings? What news of the divine?

Tiresias

Those who have eyes can see, those who have ears can hear. But only if one opens the mind can a vision be truly grasped and only if one listens can one change.

Creon

I have always valued your insights, ever eager to listen to your divine counsel and have a deeper insight into Divine Mind.

Tiresias

The way of truth and insight is the way of the divine journey. The wise captain pays attention. Location, location, location. Angle of the sun, distance to the shore. All these things to steer clear of the rocks and guide ship to safe harbour.

Creon

Your words have always raised my consciousness.

Tiresias

You walk the razor's edge, treading between darkness and light.

Creon

A shudder passes through me, your words are like a winter wind. Speak your truth.

Tiresias

Birds gather in flocks, bees swarm when the queen seeks a new home.

Nature holds the keys to Divine Insight if we will but listen.

Even empty, the sacred theater hold the vibrations of the divine explorations of human behavior.

The cry of the falcon penetrates and does not disappear from the ears of the pigeon that survives its deadly fall from the heights. The rush of the wind from beneath the twisting wing, the snap, the caw and then the quiet that follows.

The Silence of Death.

The sacred fires have been tainted with carrion.

Those eternal flames honoring our relationship with our ancestors and the gods have been contaminated with bits of flesh dropped by carrion birds.

An eyeball, believe to be one of Eteocles was found in the grand well. Citizens are afraid to drink the water now. Sacrifices and divinations are not auguring good fortune. It is said that the animals and birds that fed upon the dead are now sick and have themselves been dying and in doing so their bodies are fouling the smaller wells and are being found upon the doorsteps of the homes.

[Compare with 1 Samuel 2:10]

These signs speak clearly that it is time to change direction.

Might does not make right despite the desire of the strong to prevail over the weak.

Those who contend against Divine Mind will generally find themselves broken.

The Divine flows through the sands, and skies, and when most High Gods clap thunder rolls across the heavens. The Gods reach through all dimensions and Divine Judgment is felt to the ends of the earth.   
[End of comparison with 1 Samuel 2:10]

[Begin comparison with Dhammapada, chapter 1]

All that we are is a result of what we think. The flower and fruit of our being is rooted within our thoughts, indeed it is constructed of our thoughts.

The man who speaks with wisdom brings wisdom into his life,

the man who is thoughtless inadvertently brings unaccountable situations into being

soon his carelessness results in pain which follows him,

as surely as the wheel follows the foot of the ox that pulls the carriage.

The strongest man is capable of transforming when he sees the error of his way.

Thoughtless deeds can be amended through thoughtful actions.

We must simply open our eyes and see the higher truth, or listen to the caring insights of others.

The great leader rights the wrongs he finds, even if they are his own and through this demonstration of nobility he returns the nation to alignment with the Divine.

We must give the dead their due.

There is no goodness found in stabbing the fallen foe.

What honor is found through the abuse of the dead?

What good comes to the spirit who is constantly occupied with thoughts of past abuse?

The fires of hatred are not quenched by more hatred,

this is simply more fuel to the conflagration.

Ancient divine law is clear.

Hatred ceases through love.

Forgiveness is the way of wisdom.

Take heed, listen, hear and move yourself to proper action.


[End comparison with Dhammapada, chapter 1]
[Begin comparison with Dhammapada, chapter 3]

Creon

Wise old man. You bring your mind to bear upon this situation as a skilled archer aims his arrow. Your thoughts match the thoughts of fellow citizens of our nation who like minded bring their thoughts to bear upon this crisis.

It is hard to train the mind. One must learn to steady the anxious thought with focus on ease of action.

[Dhammapada Chapter 6:80-81]

The able archer fletches his own arrows, carpenters carve logs into function, the wise work willingly on themselves and become solid like granite unmoved or shaken by the weather, unworried and unfazed amidst blame or praise.

[1 Samuel 2:12-16]

You and your lot may fatten yourselves with the best bits of flesh from the sacrifice and even pocket profits from the sale of "sacred stones" and gold. But do not think that I will be swayed by your persuasion.

I have no fear of your derision. You might say that the sacred eagles of Zeus will rend his flesh and heft the bloody mess to the their master's throne bringing pollution to the seat of the heavens. But I am unafraid of superstitions.

Heaven and its majesty is undisturbed by earthly activity. All of your silly attempts to get me to grant this burial for the sake of that girl is hopeless. I know that the root of your dishonor is greed and your vaunted insights have been purchased with old family gold. Hidden loot of Oedipus now surfaces to save the last of his brood. It saddens me that you would stoop so low as to sell your sacred words for gold.

Tiresias

Those who have eyes will see, those who have ears will hear.

Creon

What is this silly repetition, a new fad, a new saying, popular street song?

Tiresias

Don't you understand that prudence is a priceless possession?

[Dhammapada Chapter 6:77]

Creon

Ah, the wise man admonishes and teaches, forbids what is improper. How is this working for you? Personally I believe fear is the greatest folly and foolishness brings its own reward.


Tiresias

You seem to be possessed of a great deal of foolishness, so what treasure will you reap?

Creon

I will not bandy words with a base prophet.

Tiresias

Base? You are defaming me in order to impugn my abilities.
Do you really want to accuse me of false prophesy?

Creon

I don't have to do that, you accuse yourself. All prophets are greedy by nature.

Tiresias

Perhaps you are seeing yourself reflected in others. Those who are ruled by ego are often deluded into seeing their faults mirrored in the beings around them.

Creon

Are you aware that you are talking to your commander and chief? Such slander may have a cost.

Tiresias

Note that it is you who keep speaking of cost as opposed to the deeper understanding of cooperation and co-creation. Did you save our city by yourself? Were you not part of a team? And was I not an essential part of that equation?

Creon

You are clever at elevating yourself through your vaunted art of divination and equally adept at dissembling.

Tiresias

You really want to me to talk. Here. In front of these people.

Creon

Bring it on! But speak from the heart and not for profit.

Tiresias

I believe I will and for your sake I shall.

Creon

Don't get the idea that you can profit on me.

Tiresias

On a happy day the sun move quickly through the sky, on sad days time seems to slow.
How long does this day seem to you? Equilibrium is the natural state of being, thus the universe bends towards balance. Do you think that you can shake the scales of justice without precipitating a reaction?
By end of a single cycle of the sun, you will feel the fingers of the fates, who will pluck a thread of life close to yours. Blood for blood. Dead for the dead.

[Dhammapada 5:60]

Nights seem longer to the sleepless soul; distance stretches further for the weary and the fool who ignores Divine Law is doomed to an endless circle of incarnation in the corridors of pain.

[end comparison with Dhammapada 5:60]

Violating the eternal laws that demand the honoring of the dead, compounding dishonor by burying the sister alive in a tomb of torture.

[Dhammapada 3:40-42]

You may thrust your victims into the jaws of death, but one cannot leave the lifeless body, lying upon the earth unheeded like a useless log. The harm that you may feel you inflict upon your enemies, the hatred that you direct at those you fear, simply rebounds upon yourself. No one could harm you more than yourself, not your mother, nor father, nor any of these relations. Your greatest damage has been self-inflicted by your poorly directed mind.

[End comparison with Dhammapada 3:40-42]

Your blatant disregard for the Sacred Rights of the Living and the Dead is a desecration that will not be denied by the Divine. You have brought this upon yourself as well as upon our city.

I'm not paid to say this. You can figure it out yourself with what little judgment you have left. At the moment our city is filled with the wails and cries of the women, the children, and all who are aware of the wrath that is descending.

I am not sure how you could think it was appropriate for the carrion birds to feast upon the dead, when anyone of sense would understand that they might drop the mangled bits into the city. The vultures descending into the stench of death then carry the offal onto the wind and the stench fouls our formerly fair city.

[Dhammapada 21:291 & 292]

Ensnared by your bondage to hate, you have sought your satisfaction through inflicting pain on others. Thus you cannot be delivered from hatred or the bitter herpes of hatred. The blisters will only increase because of your heedless hubris. You have neglected the sacred and done what you should not have done.

[End comparison with Dhammapada 21:291 & 292]

You have even directed your anger at me, so now the arrows are returned. Hopefully the shaft can somehow pierce your stony heart and thereby awaken you to some sense.

One thing you cannot escape is your own stupidity, it is like a shadow that only disappears in the bright light of wisdom. But even then it simply sits beneath you, out of sight to reappear as soon as wisdom takes its leave. Which now I shall do.

Boy, let's return home, there is more sense in a cold hearth stone than here.

[Dhammapada 10 - 131-136]

One who seeks his own joy through oppressing others with violence will never attain happiness in this life or the next.

This one wishes to shower all life about him foul speech not knowing that such angry seeds will return to him and bring a harsh harvest.

When a fool is committed to thoughtless action, such a witless wonder is soon tormented by his own deeds as a child who places his hand upon the heated hearth.

[End Dhammapada 10 - 131-136]


Chorus

My Lord, Tiresias has uttered such dreadful prophecies that I believe whatever color remained in my hair has fled with fear. This is not a man whose words can be taken lightly, he has never yet been wrong.

Creon

Oh, my heart. I feel confused. I know that I must be strong, but what if I am wrong?

Chorus

Son of Menoceus, perhaps it is best to take his advice.

Creon

What do you think I should do? Give me a clue.

Chorus

Release Antigone from the cavern in which you have confined her, build a proper pyre for the corpse, then inter the ashes as is proper and befitting duty to the dead.

Creon

You think I should relent?

Chorus

My lord, you must take swift action if you wish to avoid the divine retribution that is the sure reprisal for foolishness.

Creon

I do not wish to concede, but it appears that I have no choice.

Chorus

Get going. This is your responsibility. No one can do it for you.

Creon

I can do this. I am capable and able. You! And you! Grab axes and get to it now. We have work to do. We need to be about it. My mind is made up.

[Dhammapada 5:65]

If only for a moment, we will spend time with the wise,
open our hearts to forgive, our minds to higher truth,
transformation is as sure as our tongue tasting the flavor of the soup.

[End Dhammapada 5:65]
[Dhammapada 22:318-319]

When we realize wrong is wrong, and right it right, it opens up our second sight.
I am ready to leave my mistakes behind and return to the ancient path of the divine.

(Exit Creon.) New Thought Education can be a vehicle for joyful living

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